British Fish and Chips

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Sept 2004

My Australian husband is threatening to move us if I don't find some good fish and chips around Oakland, and he means ''British'' style. It seems that when we follow recommendations around here we wind up with the cornmeal coated ''Southern'' style, which he doesn't go for. Does anyone know a good source for reasonable fish and chips around the east bay? Crogan's in Montclair makes good fnc but it's a fancier place than we often feel like going to. Maybe a place more like Barbara's Fish Trap in Princeton. Fish Lover

Don't know if it's British, but my family likes the fish and chips (and clam chowder) from the Seabreeze roadside market/restaurant at University Avenue and the freeway. A Fish and Chips Fan

There is a place in Oakland on Grand Avenue, across the street from Fairyland that has/had great fish and chips.

Also, Chelsea(?) in San Francisco (you can order food at the Edinburgh Castle while you have a pint and they will bring it in, wrapped in newspaper) is really good. Near Geary/Polk, but that isn't exactly right.

And the Pig and Whistle (also in SF, sorry) also has great fish and chips. They are also on Geary, near Masonic.

And there is a good pub in San Leandro called the Englander that seems like it should be good, although I've never had their fish.

Hope this helps. Kean

Try the little cafe on the entrance road to the Berkeley Marina (down University Ave, just over the freeway overpass, on your left). I think it's call Sea Breeze Cafe (NOT Spenger's!!!). It's a takeaway and you sit at tables outside in the car park, but it's the closest to proper fish and chips we've found. The other food there is also pretty good, and in season, they serve freshly cooked crabs. - Fellow Australian fish lover.

I haven't been there (yet), but I noticed an H. Salt Fish & Chips in my East Bay Entertainment Book, in Fremont (39230 Argonaut Way; 797-7963). We used to go to H. Salt when I was a kid (in L.A.), and it was the British style, as I recall. I don't think they serve it in a newspaper cone any more, though! Good luck. Jennie

This may be useless, but I'll give it a try. There was, maybe still is a place in SF (I know you said Oakland, sorry) called the Old CHelsea. Now, I think the Old Chelsea was the bar, and across the street was this little hole in the wall that had, what I was told were REAL BRITISH FISH AND CHIPS. I don't know what the batter was, but they delivered them from this place to the Old Chelsea in newspaper with vinegar on the side. The name Edinborough Castle comes to mind too. So maybe the bar was Edinborough Castle and the Fish and Chips palce was Old Chelsea...or vice versa. I hope this is helpful. not the best memory, but not bad

Have you tried Kensington Circus Pub? It's got ''traditional'' English pub food (Incl fish and chips) as well as a play area for small children, and a great beer menu. Not sure if it will please the ''purist'' but prices are reasonable, food is good, and the kids love it! food lover

try kensington circus pub in kensington on colusa (on the circle, impossible to miss) yummy f+c, bangers and mash, the whole nine yards. and they are VERY kid friendly too. juliet

Your husband might like the Kensington Circus Pub, on Colusa Ave. in Kensington. I'm not a fish & chips fan, but I have British friends who say theirs is the real thing. Patty

mmm...Fish 'n' Chips Try the Edinburgh Castle in San Francisco on Geary Street for good British style fish and chips. It's a great pub that'll make you feel like you're in the UK. anonymous

We love the Kensington Circus Pub on Colusa. The fish and chips are yummy and not too expensive. The other bonus is the fabulous play area for the kids. Joan

I haven't had the real thing in England, but the pub food at Beckett's in Berkeley (on Shattuck) is yummy, and the atmosphere (starts off quiet in the early evenings and weeknights, can get bar-like on weekends) is fun. I am pretty sure they have fish and chips too. It's not generally full of families, although I've seen kids there in the quieter hours, and my 2-year old has been there and done fine. They have live music a few nights a week as well. Kathleen

You might want to try the Kensington Pub, though it's not really in Oakland, but at least on a sporadic basis if your husband really needs ''fish-n-chips'' it might be worth the drive. The Kensington Pub is on the Colusa Circle roundabout on the border of Berkeley and Kensington. It's also extremely kid-friendly (a little rug play area towards the back), so it's one of the few places we would eat out at when our babies were really babies. Hope you check it out. Luisa

I used to live in the UK and have a UK born husband and I too miss Fish & Chips! The only place in the Bay Area that I have found that has real authentic Fish & Chips (wrapped in the traditional newspaper) is the Edinburgh Castle in SF. This is not very practical because (1) its in the City and (2) its a bar & doesn't allow children, but if the opportunty presents itself he should check it out, he won't be disappointed!

In the East Bay, Yorkshire Fish & Chips near Lake Merritt has pretty good fish, although I wasn't too impressed w/their chips. Beckett's in downtown Berkeley is also not bad. My husband & UK in-laws have eaten the fish & chips at Pyramid without complaint. Good luck! another Fish & Chips enthusiast

I almost hate to recommend our favorite place (since it'll create more of a wait when we go on a Friday evening) but to be fair I will: Kensington Circus Pub - in the Kensington (Colusa) Circle is known for it's fish & chips, as well as a good English beer variety. (They're so British that they have good Indian food, too.) Enjoy! pcooper

Although they are not in the Oakland area, here are two recommendations:

Kensington Circus, 389 Colusa Ave, Kensington 524-8814. I am sure that many others will list this one. It's a dark pub atmosphere and even has a kids' play area nearby to entertain young kids while adults are eating. Good fnc, battered fried, not greasy. Even offers kid portions.

Fisherman's Hut, 15930 Hesperian Blvd, San Lorenzo 510-278- 3868. Take 880 south to Hesperian Blvd heading west. This one is out of the way, but well worth the drive. No atmosphere; in a small strip mall. Food is made to order and VERY inexpensive (most items are around $5 or less). Again, nicely battered fried fish, good fries, real onion rings, on the greasy side, but thoroughly satisfying, malt vinegar and all. Another fnc fan

Have you tried Kensington Circus Pub? It's in 389 Colusa Ave. (at Colusa Circle)Kensington, CA 94707. Check on-line at, they have a description of the place. Our kid loves it! Cristina.

Come on, the only possible place is The Circus Pub on Colusa in Kensington. Dry cider on tap too! (Actually, the Cliff House used to do a decent fish & chips too.) The only problem is, no one around here has quite the right fish to pull it off perfectly. Missing Atlantic Cod